Post death of two doctors, Kerala police issues warning against using Google Maps during monsoon
Advaith (29) and Ajmal (29), lost their lives in the early hours of Sunday after their car plunged into the river Periyar while allegedly following directions on Google Maps.
KOCHI: The deaths of two young doctors in a car accident, which occurred after they allegedly followed directions on Google Maps and fell into a river, have prompted the Kerala police to issue cautionary guidelines for using the technology during the monsoon season.
Advaith (29) and Ajmal (29), both working at a private hospital in Thrissur district, lost their lives in the early hours of Sunday after their car plunged into the river Periyar at Gothuruth near here while allegedly following directions on Google Maps.
Three others who were travelling with them sustained injuries and are undergoing treatment at a hospital nearby, the police had said.
As the family and friends bid a tearful adieu to the departed souls, police have said that the driver had apparently reached the area following directions provided by Google Maps.
"The visibility was very low at the time due to heavy rains. They were following a route shown by Google Maps. But it seems like instead of taking a left turn as suggested by the Maps, they mistakenly continued forward and fell into the river," police had said.
The state police force, in a Facebook post on Sunday, warned people against travelling through unfamiliar routes during monsoon seasons.
Listing the dos and don'ts while using Google Maps, Kerala police said routes are often diverted during monsoons, but they may not show up on the map.
"Google Maps is very helpful for driving these days. However, taking unfamiliar routes by looking at the map, especially during monsoons is sometimes dangerous," the post said.
The state police said maps may show a route with less traffic, but such routes may not be safer.
"Google Maps may lead to impassable roads with overflowing streams, landslides, fallen trees, narrow roads, and dangerous roads where smooth movement is not possible," the post read.
The police also urged people to save maps ahead for reference in case they lose their GPS signal en route while travelling.
"Don't forget to select the proper mode of travel on the map. Choose between four-wheeler, two-wheeler, bicycle, walking, and train options. Please note that a four-wheeler cannot take the bike's route," the Facebook post said.
The police also asked the public to use the 'contribute' option in the map about a traffic jam or a road block so that it could be of help to other users.
Meanwhile, hospital sources said the deceased doctors were good friends and had been planning to go abroad for higher studies.
The group was coming back from Kochi after celebrating the birthday of Advaid, sources said.
A person who belongs to Malappuram who was in the locality as part of construction work saw the accident happen at midnight, and he and his friends and other local residents of the area participated in the rescue efforts.
They informed fire service personnel and police as well.
A local resident had told the media that three passengers, including a woman, were rescued by them.
A scuba diving team was pressed into service by the authorities to recover the bodies of the two deceased doctors.